Considering Lingual Aspects of the Bible:
The English Bible Retains Archaic English Terminology
When I began the Section: Anthropological Aspects of the Bible, I stated “there is one thing that I have learned about the Bible is that it is nearly impossible to discuss it, because as soon as something is referenced, it seems that no matter what is referenced it has a meaning that can only be understood in one way.”
That certainly seems the way it will be with this section, meaning there will be those who will not see the Biblical text any other way than the manner in which they read the English translation of the Hebrew and Greek languages.
Yet, as I discussed in the Section: Considering Lingual Aspects of the English, it is possible to see the development of the English language.
Thus, when we understand the historical lingual development of the English, we can understand that the term “husband” used to refer to either a frugal manager or to a tiller/cultivator, what we call a farmer.
Additionally, we can understand that the term “wife” was, at one time, synonymous with the term “woman”.
From the historical development of English linguistics, it is possible to see that the term “husband” and the term “wife” have archaic definitions, and those archaic definitions functioned closer to the intent of each English term.
That means that the term “husband” and the term “wife” have been, in a sense, redefined, and are utilized in specific conditions, conveying specific information, as was discussed in the section: Modern Definitions of the English term “husband” and the English term “wife”.
From those things then, I want to convey that the Biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek) do not present their contents in the manner in which the current usage of English language might present the Hebrew and Greek.
In other words, when the English Bible was first translated, the English term “husband” and the English term “wife” were not directly connected to the English term “marriage”.
That is because a “husband” was either a frugal manager or a farmer, and because a “wife” was a synonym for the term “woman”.
While it will be difficult for our modern definitions, that means that neither a “husband” nor a “wife” had to be in a personal relationship with each other via “marriage”.
For example, consider that in the archaic English a man who was a cultivator of the soil would have been referred to as a “husband”, and because “wife” was synonymous with “woman” he as a “husband” could have had a “wife” caring for his home, yet it would still be possible for the two of them to never actually be in a personal relationship that we would define as a “marriage”.
But that sets odd with our modern definitions of the term “husband” and the term “wife”, and that is because modernity does not use those terms in those archaic ways.
That is why it is knowable that over time the English term “husband” and the English term “wife” came to be completely connected to the English term “marriage” where the “husband” and the “wife” were in a personal relationship defined as a “marriage”.
Consequently, when a modern English reader reads the English Bible (which first developed in archaic English yet is under constant re-evaluation of the archaic English), the modern English reader automatically interprets the term “husband” and the term “wife” as legal or religious status, instead of the multiple definitions that the English terms once had in the early days (1300s-1500s) of the English Bibles, which utilized archaic English definitions.
That situation with the English linguistics poses an interesting issue when translating the Biblical Hebrew and the Greek, because English Bibles continue using the term “husband” and the term “wife”, terminology from about AD/CE 1000 that had specific archaic definitions which have been lost as the English Bible as moved forward from the 1300s to the 1600s to the 2000s.
Without doubt, many Bible scholars and translators will disagree, and then argue as to why I am incorrect.
But as I discussed in the Section: Considering Lingual Aspects of the English, the English has changed the manner in which it defines the term “husband” and the term “wife”. Yet, the Bible retains the archaic English terms that are no longer defined as they once were defined.
Lingually, historically, culturally, socially, therefore contextually, it is critical to understand that the English has changed the way it uses the term “husband” and the term “wife”.
Therefore, even though most English BIble readers read the English Bible unaware of the way in which the English term “husband” and theterm “wife” have changed, that unawareness affects the manner in which one understands the contents of the Hebrew and the Greek.
Importantly, after spending some time looking at Western anthropological history regarding the personal relationship and the Private Contract, and after looking at the lingual historical development of the English language, I am no longer convinced we fully understand the operational nature in which the ancient peoples or the archaic English people understood the personal relationship and/or the Private Contract.
Understanding those historic and lingual realities is critical when reading any English Bible passage that incorporates the English term “husband” and/or the English term “wife”.
That is because, the SCECS Accepted Marriage and its associated term of “husband”, and its associated term of “wife”, and its associated term of “marriage” are unknowingly defining our understanding of the personal relationship within the anthropological and Biblical worlds.
In many ways, because the term “husband” and the term “wife” are defined so specificically within modernity, and because modernity is so specific with the manner in which the term “marriage” is used, Bible translators, readers, and students have functionally performed the act of eisegesisW, reading into the Bible our own SCECS.
As such, as believers, it seems we have little to no ability to divorce ourselves from our own SCECS in order to understand the Biblical information in its contextual narrative.
That means we, as modern English speakers, are remiss in our ability to understand the Biblical information about the personal relationship and Private Contract, because we have a limited understanding of the functional and historical development of the West and of the the English language.
In other words, we make the presumption that the ancient peoples and the archaic English speakers defined, developed, understood, and gave accoutabilities and responsibilities to their personal relationship in the exact same manner as we do.
As this section unfolds, I will show examples from the Biblical Hebrew and the Biblical Greek languages that should help reveal that reality.